Qatar has many spectacular attractions and historical sites providing tourists with things to do and sights to see during their visit. Here are some recommended Qatar attractions that tourists should consider visiting.
Al-Jassasiya Rock Carvings
Al-Jassasiya is one of the most interesting places in Qatar. Visitors of this site can admire lots of glyphs carved in stone. Its complexity varies from simple geometric shapes to complex “pictures” of animals.
There are many opinions regarding the age of the glyphs. In 15th century there was a settlement close the site, but many experts believe the carvings are much older. Others point out, that the rocks are very soft and can erode “quickly” and thus the glyphs have to be more recent.
Museum of Islamic Art
Museum of Islamic Art in Doha is quite new (opened to public in December 2008) but it immediately became the largest museum in Qatar.
It houses one of the most complete collections of Islamic artifacts in the world. Exhibited items come from Spain to India and visitors can admire collections of ceramics, jewelry, glass, items made of ivory and much more.
The museum’s building was designed by famous architect I.M.Pei and he insisted on building it on a tiny island in Doha harbour.
Zubara Fort is an ancient looking building that was actually built in 1938 on the remains of an older castle. Until 1980s it served as a station for coast guards. In 1987 it became a museum which houses exhibitions of pottery, coins and other findings from the nearby archeological site of Al-Zubarah town.
Al Koot Fort Museum is one of the old military fortresses in Doha. Al Koot means fort and also jail. Located in the Al Bidda area of Doha, and the site of the old town, in the midst of the souq area, it was built in 1880 as a police station and afterwards it was used as a jail in 1906. Today it is used as a museum. The whole building was submitted to a renewing procedure in 1978. Qatari traditional handcrafts, products and photos of daily life with illustrations are housed there. Exhibits include Bedouin Sadu, handcrafts, gypsum and wooden ornaments, fishing equipment and boats, historical photos, artwork including oil paintings of craft workers and daily life.
Barzan Towers were built at the beginning of the 20th century as watch towers to protect the surrounding area from Ottomans that was already defeated but still lurked the land.
Nowadays Barzan Towers attract many visitors from nearby Doha and it is worth the trip even thought during renovation works interiors were equipped with air-conditioning that spoils authenticity of the towers. On the other hand it makes the visit more comfortable especially during hot summer months.
The Doha Zoo is home to a wide range of animals including protected species such as the Arabian Oryx which is Qatar’s national animal and whose image can be found in the Qatar Airways logo. The Zoo has undergone extensive redevelopment to create spaces more suitable to the animals it houses and to include hotels for visitors to stay.
The Pearl is a man-made island which incorporates residential, commerical and retail districts. The Pearl is a must see Qatar Attraction to experience. There are restaurants like Elevation Burger, Le Relais de L’Entrecote (French Steakhouse) and Emporio Armani Caffe (Italian Cuisine) where you can enjoy steaks, ice cream and many other delicious foods. o There are modern stores like Aigner and Just Cavali. There are places to walk and shop as well as places where you can relax.
Al-Thagab is a fort built in traditional style (rectangular ground plan with a tower in each of its corners). Similarly to Al-Zubarah fort Al-Thagab has three of these defensive towers rounded while the last one is rectangular.
The fort was restored in 2003 using only traditional construction techniques so that visitors can see the fort the way it was when it was built in 18th century.
Fanar – Qatar Islamic Cultural Center
This prominent landmark is located in the city of Doha and is officially known as Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center.
Fanar is host to one of the largest mosques in Qatar and houses a library with book in multiple languages dealing Islam and local culture. Fanar is also a place involved with social, religious and educational activities.
This popular Qatar Attraction is ideal for those wanting to learn more about the country of Qatar from both a religious and cultural point of view.
Qatar National Museum
Qatar National Museum – description indicates museum is closed due to construction but that should be completed in 2014. It’s now 2015.